Problems That Homeowners May Encounter With Basement Waterproofing

Any family that has been through a basement conversion on their home or may be planning to get their current cellar or basement converted will have thought about the possible risks that are involved when it comes to a basement construction.

One of the more prominent issues with a basement conversion will be the waterproofing system. A basement is only as good as it’s base – the foundation of the build. Therefore if the basement construction company you have used to get your basement constructed hasn’t done a very good job, then it will only go down from here.

Although basements wear and tear over time, you know its a real issue with the quality of work when you start to see basement waterproofing problems surface in the first few months or years of your basement conversion. There are many reasons that a basement may be falling apart. A lot of the pressure will come from the structure your basement was built on, so if the foundations and stud walls are not sturdy and durable, then your basement may be at risk of collapsing (and the rest of your home along with it). On top of this, it can also be a problem with the basement waterproofing.

Basement Waterproofing is Essential in Increasing a Basement’s Lifespan

The trick to making anything last is making sure that you look after it. Some problems can be prevented and stopped before they become detrimental.

The whole point of a basement waterproofing and tanking system is to keep unwanted moisture from the ground out of your basements walls and flooring. Damp dirt can cause basements to erode and wear down quicker than a basement with a good quality waterproofing system.

A waterproofing system is made up of membranes which are waterproof and cover the walls to make sure moisture doesn’t pass through. A waterproofing system may include other things such as sealants, sump pumps, drains and more. A waterproofed basement is required in the UK by basement building regulations. Not having a good enough standard of waterproofing will cause problems and safety issues.

basement waterproofing problems

Types of waterproofing:

Interior wall and floor sealers – Cracks and pipe holes are the most common places for seepage in concrete basement foundations. These can be sealed from the inside.

Interior water drainage – This is a widely accepted technique in the basement construction and tanking industry. A basement waterproofing solution such as this mitigates basement water, so it is not technically waterproofing, but it prevents water damage by draining water from your basement.

Interior waterproofing – This method uses coatings to cover areas where condensation is the main issue. It is also good for minor dampness, but will not stop major leaks.

Exterior waterproofing – Water intrusion can be stopped by outside waterproofing methods. It involved excavating the existing basement, washing and drying them, then sealing the dry walls with a waterproofing membrane.

Problems To Look Out For With Basement Waterproofing

A musty odor – If the basement has a damp and musty odor when you enter it, it may be a sign of water damage that has occurred because of water seeping in through the floor and walls. Although the damage may not be visible, the smell is always a red flag.

basement water damage

Mold forming – Damp areas are more likely to form mold. Whether it is black, white or green, any mold is a bad sign. Not only do you have a water problem, but now you also have a mold problem, which can be bad for your health.

Water marks and efflorescence – This is something that you will be able to notice before the damage gets too out of hand. If you spot any water marks such as water that looks like it has been dripping down the walls or a white, chalky substance (efflorescence), then you have a water seepage problem.

Seepage from the floor – Floor cracks and water seepage can indicate that there are damages to your waterproofing system. An interior drain tile system can usually resolve this basement waterproofing problem.

Causes of Leaks and Water Seepage in a Basement

If the concrete that makes up the basement is not left to cure properly of any air pockets are not removed, then it will be more likely to crack and let water through.

Rainwater can also be absorbed by the soil below your basement from clogged gutters and downspouts.

The foundation footings can also be susceptible to soil erosion and movement of the ground when they are not spaced properly. Ground movement can cause water to break into the basement.

Whatever the issue is with your basement waterproofing system, a professional basement company can fix it. UHM Basements of London are experts in basement waterproofing. They will be able to take on any issue no matter how big or small.


The Benefits of Getting a CCTV Drain Survey

A drainage system is complex and uses different types of pipes and sewers to make up a huge efficient water waste system. Every now and again a drain may need to be surveyed in order to alert the property manager or the professional drainage expert that there may be potential problems such as some structural issues with fractures and collapsed pipes.

What is a Drain Survey?

A drain survey is used in the professional drainage and plumbing industry to assess and investigate drain pipes and sewers underground to report any damages, repairs needed or potential problems that may occur later on.

A drain survey can be used in many different situations. One situation may be when a new homeowner is moving into a new property and they want to be sure that there are no pending issues with the property’s drain system because the private drain pipes right outside your property is your responsibility to look after.

A CCTV drain survey will detect any tree root ingress, backed up sewage, blocked drains, pipe fractures and collapsed drain pipe systems. A drainage survey will not only confirm the condition of your drainage system but it will also determine accurately and efficiently which part of your drain system is your responsibility and not the responsibility of the utilities provider.

Uses of a CCTV Survey

A CCTV drain survey should be done by a professional Essex drainage and sewer company in your local area of a licensed plumber who has the qualifications to perform the survey. They will have the correct tools and equipment to do the CCTV drainage survey and they will also have the experience and training to have the knowledge of what to look for.

If you’re having trouble with the drains in your house, there are hundreds of UK technicians around who will be happy to assist you solve the problem. When you’re experiencing issues with your drain, possibly the most essential things to understand is that anything is causing the congestion is probably the effect of regular use. With time, this frequently results in a serious deterioration in the operation of that specific sewer or drain. There are numerous things that might affect your drains over a quantity of time, including poor structure, industrial waste, tree root intrusion, broken or cracked pipes and ground motion.

drain survey
Whatever the cause, it is essential to have the problem quickly and properly assessed and professionally mended with a minimum of disturbance. Since drains are not usually visible, the right cause and nature of the issue may not be immediately apparent. That’s why a pro evaluation and identification is an essential tool when discovering any drain malfunction. Possibly the most typical problems related to blocked drains are the unpleasant odours that could happen. Along with generating potential health threats, these odors can origin you discomfort in your home or company, and end up costing you more than they want to.

It is said that avoidance is the best cure, and using a CCTV map and scan of your sewer system can easily and quickly identify the problem or block in your drain. This may then enable your plumber to solve the issue rapidly, easily and with very little disruption to you. A complete drainage survey will identify blocked blocks or harm to your drains, while the following investigation report will identify whether it’s been caused by subsidence, wear and tear, misuse or accident. There’s truly nothing better than a visual evaluation to provide the most accurate and cost efficient identification of the issue taking place in your drains or pipes. The CCTV Survey will assist you establish the most practical solution options and by mapping the sewer lines, you’ll be capable to track where an issues lies and expose any blockages or obstacles stuck in the sewers. When a problem with your drains happens, first things first, ask your local drainage specialist for a CCTV Survey.

CCTV Drain Survey Advantages

CCTV drain surveys are displayed on a television screen just outside the drain CCTV camera entrance hole for the professional drain expert to see. The video footage is innovative compared to traditional drain excavation and repair because it is in real-time so they are completely accurate and time saving. On top of this, it is also less invasive and will not damage the outside property.

cctv drain survey.jpg

Advantages of a drain CCTV survey can include:

Accuracy – A CCTV or closed circuit television survey is extremely accurate because it uses a camera to go down into the drain pipe and the footage from inside the drain is displayed on a screen. It can also be recorded and saved for future reference.

Time – The process can be quick and done in less than half an hour depending on the length of the drain. There is also minimal disruption so you can get on with whatever you need to do whilst the drainage professional is carrying out the CCTV drain survey.

Minimal damage – A CCTV drain requires less damage to the surrounding area and is therefore cheaper for the professional CCTV drain surveyor to do because there will be less repairs to the ground needed.



Loft Conversion: The Pros and Cons of a Loft

A loft conversion seems to be the new in thing for many homeowners in today’s society. Not only is it becoming a popular solution to the ‘no space’ problem in the overcrowded busy city of London, but it is also becoming a favourable option in parts of North England such as Manchester.

Manchester is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. It is considered by many as the music capital because it is the home of many great artists such as Oasis, Stone Roses, The Smiths, and Joy Division. But what makes loft conversion such a popular service out there?

In this article you can find the most common benefits and disadvantages of a loft conversion service. From there you can make your own mind up about whether or not it is a way forward or just another property market trend.

The Pros of Loft Conversion

Popular and affordable solution – In Great Britain, having a loft converted has quickly become one of the most popular renovations. It provides a fairly straightforward solution to not having enough space because it is building onto an already existing framework. Loft conversion companies are offering a loft conversion service at more affordable prices now. It is also less time consuming than a house extension.

No loss of outside space – Loft conversions are great because they don’t take up extra space. In a lot of areas where space and overcrowding is a common problem, the most effective solution is to build upwards. Loft conversions give you an extra room like a house extension would, but don’t require you to sacrifice precious garden and outside property space.

loft conversion pro

An extra room – This is the most popular reason why homeowners opt for a loft conversion. Many traditional homes have some sort of loft or attic space already, so getting a conversion is easy and often requires straightforward alterations to the roof of your home and the attic floor. Loft rooms are commonly used as a bedroom or office space but can also be converted into a playroom or bathroom.

Adds value to your property – Loft conversion is an investment, but it is worth it because it adds value onto your property. The Guardian states loft conversion can increase your home’s value by at least 20%. Also according to Nationwide, adding an extra bedroom or bathroom can also increase house value.

Right to light – House extensions have regulations that state where you can and can’t put windows, and where you can and can’t build in case it blocks natural light from reaching your neighbour’s property (as stated in the Prescription Act 1832). Neighbours may also feel like their privacy or space is being invaded. Choose a loft conversion to avoid any obscuring or overshadowing any neighbouring properties. Loft windows such as Velux and sun tunnels are also a great way of opening up the space with natural light.

For loft conversions in Manchester and the North-West click here.

The Cons of Loft Conversion

Not suitable for all properties – If the safety and building structure needs are not met, you cannot have a loft conversion. Some loft conversions end up costing more because of the added alterations needed on your home before converting the loft. Most cases like this need the roof structure remodelled to accommodate the minimum headroom space
loft conversion con

Building regulations – A loft conversion can only be carried out if specific standards are met. The Building Regulations Act states the minimum requirements for a loft conversion such as the minimum ceiling height, insulation thickness, etc. These regulations ensure that the loft is:

  • Stable and structure is not endangered i.e. the roof and attic floor/downstairs ceiling
  • Safe with fire escapes
  • Designed safely with stairs to the new floor
  • Reasonably sound insulated between the loft and the rooms below

Giving up loft storage space – Many properties without a loft conversion use their attic space for storage. In some cases, homeowners end up having even less space for storage than before a loft conversion because all of their unused belongings were stored away in the loft. Unless you plan to convert your loft into a bigger storage room, you will need to get rid of some items.

Why A Basement Conversion Makes Sense in London


With the population getting bigger and bigger each year there is bound to be a time where more space is just not an option. There is no way we can just make more land appear and demolishing our buildings and housing is something that is expensive an detrimental to the functionality and efficiency of our world today. Not to mention, we need natural landscapes and greenery to preserve wildlife and the environment. So what is the solution to London’s ever rising space problem? The simple answer is to stop destroying to make more space and use the space you’ve already got.

Basement Conversion in London

If you are a homeowner, landlord or estate agent and are thinking about adding more space to your home then you should consider getting your basement converted. A basement conversion uses space that you already have instead of taking away space to create more space.

A basement conversion will take away the problem of taking up unnecessary space and wasting the space that we do have. Do you need an extra bedroom because you have a big or a growing family? What about an underground parking area for a shopping centre? Need a garage for your home but don’t have the requirements and paperwork for a side extension? What about a spare room for storage? You can even get a basement conversion if you want an entertainment or games room, a home gym or fitness suit and even an indoor cinema or swimming pool.

Benefits of Basement Conversion in London

There are many advantages to a basement or cellar conversion. Although it is an investment and does need some time to complete, there are many more benefits than cons. As long as you have the correct paperwork and planning permission as well as a fully qualified basement conversion company you can trust, the results will be worth the investment.

Increases Space Not Footprint

A basement conversion doesn’t take up more space than needed as it is built downwards, therefore no extra area on the side of your home or property is needed. Therefore it is better for the environment and brings Londoners one step closer to ending the space problem.

More Value

As well as getting more use out of your home and therefore more value out of your property. It will also increase the value of your home when it comes to the time where you want to sell it. So if you are a landlord or estate agent, getting a basement or cellar converted or constructed will also benefit you by increasing the value of the space.

Property Maintenance Guide for Rented Properties

A rented home is one that has a lot of financial advantages because you are only paying for the rent and the bills, instead of an entire mortgage. However, it also means that you do not own the property and therefore there are some restrictions involved. For example, you won’t be able to carry out certain works on your property such as renovations and permanent decorations such as painting the walls and hammering in nails..

What is Property Maintenance?

A rented property requires quite a bit of maintaining. Just because it is a rental property that you do not own, doesn’t mean that it is in need of any less maintenance. As well as this, if you are moving into a new rented property, you shouldn’t be fooled. Even a new rental property or one that has been newly refurbished will still need regular maintenance.

Simply relying on your tenant to handle your property’s maintenance is not enough. Most tenants have the predisposition to look over the property with ‘careless regard’ because they don’t in fact own your property and someone who works for maintenance will be able to just do it for you.

Like anything, objects have a lifespan and eventually they will wear out, lose pieces and breakdown or simply just stop working. Because of this, there are a sequence of regular maintenance tasks that a homeowner will need to put in place to make sure that the property is running safely and efficiently.

Property maintenance can be anything from changing a light bulb and repairing a boiler to refurbishing a room.


What are Emergency Property Services?

Emergency property services are something that Landlords have to deal with. It is probably one of the biggest – and frankly the most annoying – parts of a landlords job. It is a common thing for landlords to be relaxing at home or spending time with their family or friends and being randomly interrupted with a call from their tenant telling them that they need an emergency plumbing company to repair a leak in the ceiling. It is then the landlord’s job to get in contact with the plumbing and heating company on your behalf. This can come from a list of trusted tradespeople that are reliable at making emergency call outs to your property.

An emergency property service can include anything from a broken window to a blown fuse. It can even be used in the case that you get locked out of your home.

Regular Property Maintenance

As well as emergency property maintenance services, there are also some ongoing property maintenance tasks that you need to consider which will contribute to the long-term efficiency, safety and health of your rented property. Everything you own will have a long-term maintenance labour that will determine the lifespan of the object you own.

Construction News in London for 2017

London is the home to many important and beautiful structures. With so many busy London residents and tourists around the city, it is safe to say that London’s buildings and structures are well used and appreciated.

One thing to be grateful for is our builders, contractors, and construction companies. The following article will show you the top 10 construction projects and developments to watch out for in 2017.


Houses of Parliament

The restoration of the Houses of Parliament will be one of the biggest developments in construction in London this year. The buildings will be renewed and restored this year and is said to have an estimated cost of around four billion pounds sterling.

There is currently a debate going on with the House of Commons and the House of Lords for the recommendation that in order for the R&R programme to take place, the MPs in the Houses of Parliament will have to move into a new building so the works can be carried out on the buildings.

A recent report made by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (a UK private company with multinational professional services in accounting and professional networking) stated that it would be better for the MPs to go with a ‘full decant’ option for the R&R programme so they can keep on working whilst the development is in action.

The debate is most likely to be discussed in 2017. The general consensus amongst followers of the Houses of Parliament R&R programme development is that they will end up agreeing with the report to choose the ‘full decant’ option. Although, as with anything, there will always be some members of parliament that will disagree with this and put up a fight.

As of now, the preparation work is going to continue to progress in the meantime of the MPs and peers deciding on an option to choose whilst work is being carried out on the building. There are two multi million pound R&R properties to be awarded very soon as well as further work to be done within the Northern Estates Programme.

Northern Line

The Northern Line Extension has been planned and anticipated to go under way since 2014. Around six hundred million British pounds sterling was awarded to A Ferrovial and Laing O’Rourke JV for the works towards the Northern Line extension project in development.

It has been three years and recently there has been a lot of concern. Although the projects has been planned and well under way since A Ferrovial / Laing O’Rourke in 2014, there has been a lot of dispute over rising costs and delays.

In May 2017, Transport for London stated that the Northern Line extension costs could rise by about two hundred and forty million pounds sterling due to redesigns. In July 2017, there were other independent reports stating that the project is remained at ‘high risk of delay’.

In 2017, the tunnelling required for the project is expected to be completed. There has also been some scepticism with TFL’s finances because of Sadiq Khan’s fares freeze that was predicted by his critics. It will end up opening a hole in Transport for London’s finances and will thus create a knock on effect for future Transport for London projects to come (for example the Bakerloo Line extension that is still awaiting decisions for when it will start and where it will go). Everyone’s eyes will be focused on whether or not the project’s target will be met.

Euston Station

euston station.jpegEuston Station’s redevelopment is meant to be complete by before the end of the year however it has continued to be the subject of enormous political and public scrutiny.

The future of Euston Station is highly important because of the amount of use it has to residents and tourists all across London. The London underground tube station, served by the Victoria Line and both sides of the Northern Line, whilst still being connected to the main line overground train station above it, has plans worth more than billions of pounds and needs to have room for future projects such as High Speed 2 and Crossrail 2. It also needs some room for keeping around sixty thousand commuters happy every single day.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has already made the call for High Speed 2 to be terminated until further notice at the Old Oak Common interchange because of the financing problems; however the bosses in charge of the High Speed 2 project have already rejected the suggestion.

High Speed 2 was being anticipated by the public and bosses to be a way to attract the presenting of new proposals for the approach in regards to Euston Station to the Department of Transport in February. The project hopes to get royal assent in the time after.

Google HQ

Google, the search engine giant, is looking forward to the construction of their brand new headquarters to set in motion as soon as possible. This was said after the chief executive of Google announced publically that he was committed to the scheme in November of 2016.

There are many people responsible in the construction of the new Google office in London. These include the four contractors Lendlease, Mace, Multiplex and Sir Robert McAlpine, who are all taking their part in creating the new HQ.

In 2013, Google made the decision to redesign the building development and structure, which was meant to be built by Bam, that was a proposal originally ordered to be set for three hundred million British pounds. Following this, in present day, Google will be proceeding with more caution.

In 2017, the scheme is way more different than originally planned, but it is still moving along. The construction value has increased to around six hundred million.